Native American Language

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1485 Words
Date:  2022-03-10

The native languages of American were spoken by the indigenous people who were from Nunavut, Alaska, and Greenland to the southern end of the South America region. These native languages included many distinct language families and also most of the unclassified words. Before the contact with the Europeans, many languages spoken by the people of south and North America. The Native American language had Avery broad varying demographics like the Quechuan languages, the Guarani, and the Nahuati which had like millions of speakers(Crawford, 1995).

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After the pre-Columbian times many other native languages developed in America, some of the indigenous languages which developed had some elements of Europe culture and indigenous African languages. The present northern and southern part which is currently occupied by the United States seemed to have few families during the early time. The original Native American population was spreading slowly before the contact with the Europeans; this was as opposed to the spread of society after the contact (RomeroLittle, McCarty, Warhol, & Zepeda, 2007). The original native of the American population was not as many as after the European contact. The community consists of different groups like the California languages, which were composed of the Hokan, Penutian indigenous. The second group was the people who occupied the northwest part of the Pacific, and they were called the Pacific Northwest; the name originated from the place they held. Another group was the Siouan tribes like Mexica, the Papago and the Isolates of the southwest.

There was also the American South group, for example, Muskogean, Iroquois, and the Cherokee. There were the South American languages they mostly occupied the area around the rainforest, and these were the descendants of the first immigrants. They included the Quechua, Guarani and the Chibchan. There were many languages in the Native American languages; this facilitated by the dozens of the language families who were equivalent to the Indo-European family. Much history from the linguistics is tracking the origin of the natives from separate families date back; they came from the tribes like Asia who initially spoke the unrelated languages.

Some of the sources from the archeological data had hinted that more than one migration from Asia into the Americas, which were from Alaska. The movement started 14 thousand years ago .a Number of authorities gave a suggestion that almost one and half of the indigenous American language who were initially been in the Mexico parts have been in extinct. Quechuan is the only surviving speaker in the South American parts; this was the family which existed as the most native as any other group in southern America. Another common and popular indigenous language in South America is Tupi group with a population of about four million speakers.

Native American language classified in different families, which consist of two or more tongues with different and unique historical background these families have closely related in their grammar and vocabularies on their language. The classification of Native American languages in different families has met challenges like the absence of the written records which would assist as a source of references (Krauss, 1996). Another severe problem faced during classification is that most of the documents with the most linguistic values made after the year 1850, and by then there were few people with the trained skilled for linguistic classifications and also in proper data collection among the native language families. Due to the lack of appropriate records, the scholars had to turn to the native informants to get the materials used for the analysis of the indigenous languages.

The systematic linguistic study shows that the indigenous group has progressively originated from their phonology and grammar; these have brought an enormous diversity among the Native American languages. The Greenland Eskimos group is only composed of 17 phonemes, and the Navajos also have forty-seven phonemes. Most of the words have adopted vowel sounds which are similar to the French language, and the consonant which they have is called glottal stop. Most of the natives are stressing words when they talk, which sounds like the reminiscent of English. Other groups have to fall and rising tones, which make sounds like the Chinese.

The most indigenous American language is polysynthesis. This is where different elements of words are joined to form a composite word which creates a full sentence used in direct communication. The most feature of the polysynthetis language of the American native is that there is no big difference between word and sentence, for instance, many words which are experiencing most of the connected ideas would merge to form single word unit. Most of the families with polysnthesism may have originated from the only parent language. There is the aspect of difference in gender during the talk and pronunciation like in Indo-European experienced in Native American language. A Good example is among the Algonquian languages where the nuns are being classified like the words being used by either male or female in communication.

Most Native American language has a different pronunciation for the nouns and plural that different from the singular form, but some also share both ways like in English word sheep. The North America language is primarily used during grouping of Native American language of northern Mexico this according to the way they talk and communicate. Thus the language used by native America in Mexico is shared among the different families, and also some collective nouns are also being used and shared widely among the different aboriginal families. The Algonquian Wakashan language family was among the most and widespread Native American linguistics in the northern America region. And when the history is keenly followed the native speaking this language extended from the coast, and they spread to other parts. Today the surviving family speaking Algonquian are mostly found in Canada and Montana. Originally the native of Algonquian had about 50 distinct tongues which included the Cree, the Blackfoot amongst others (Kroskrity & Field, 2009). The Nadene and Penutian languages also form parts of the most popular linguistic families. The examples of this family included the Haida and the Tlingit who are today found in Canada and Alaska.

The barriers experienced during the trade were overcome and managed by the use of sign language and writing. The writing was only shared amongst the Maya and the Aztecs. Where they use pictures to show ideas and what they wanted during the trade activities, but some groups also use the knotted cords, ropes, and strings to communicate, the colors, and the shape and sizes of the knotted cords were giving the clues and meaning during the trade activities. The sign language, which included the use of gestures with arms and hands, also help to manage the language barrier during the trade (Warhol, 2012). These means of communication could be used to pass information from one native to another whenever they could not use language as a means of communication.Most indigenous languages die today due to much reason, which includes cultural factors like many cultures have been colonized and dominated by the new cultures. This is always reflected when the native culture is suppressed. And when people use native language is being seen as permittivity and backwardness, so the native language will only be spoken in the secrets. An example is seen in North America where the aboriginal people known as the first nation people have lost their culture or is in danger of losing their native culture.


Many people who have realized the value of their dying culture are working to preserve their religion by the use of modern technology. They use videos kept in the archives, and they make recordings of their native languages for future references. The mobile phone applications have been installed to help to translate the communication to the original native tongue. That assisted the current generations in having the picture of what their local indigenous language accents. The people who have been able to master and speak in native language have been used as the smart people in modern civilization, and this has helped to preserve the culture.


Crawford, J. (1995). Endangered Native American languages: What is to be done, and why?. Bilingual Research Journal, 19(1), 17-38.

Krauss, M. (1996). Status of Native American language endangerment. Stabilizing Indigenous Languages, 16-21.,center_for_excellence_in_educa.

Kroskrity, P. V., & Field, M. C. (Eds.). (2009). Native American Language Ideologies: Beliefs, Practices, and Struggles in Indian Country. University of Arizona Press.

RomeroLittle, M. E., McCarty, T. L., Warhol, L., & Zepeda, O. (2007). Language Policies in Practice: Preliminary Findings From a LargeScale National Study of Native American Language Shift. Tesol Quarterly, 41(3), 607-618.

Warhol, L. (2012). Creating official language policy from local practice: The example of the Native American Languages Act 1990/1992. Language Policy, 11(3), 235-252.

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Native American Language. (2022, Mar 10). Retrieved from

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